First Citizens ads with employees in S.C. offices to air during Academy Awards

RALEIGH, N.C. — The women and men of First Citizens Bank take center stage in a new television advertising campaign set to launch during this year’s Academy Awards broadcast on Feb. 26. The campaign, called Pride, features real employees telling the story of the bank’s Forever First commitment to helping people take care of their financial lives for the long term.

Directed by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris of Moxie Pictures, the commercials showcase the unscripted thoughts and stories of First Citizens associates from many of the bank’s markets. The campaign features a mix of local and regional bankers, behind-the-scenes support staff and senior executives.

“Our customers tell us over and over again that our people make First Citizens an important part of their financial lives,” said Jeff Ward, chief strategy officer of First Citizens Bank. “And we’re incredibly proud of the team we’ve built here. It seemed like the right time to shine a light on their passion for helping the people who come to us with their family finances and business banking needs.”

The campaign includes a series of 15- and 30-second commercials, each featuring a single First Citizens associate sharing a favorite memory or impression about the bank’s commitment to the customers and communities it serves. Kicking off the campaign is a special 60-second commercial featuring all the employees who participated in the project. This commercial will introduce the campaign on regional broadcasts (Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia and Charleston, S.C.) of the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 26.

“Our brand is, at its core, about helping our customers achieve their financial goals,” said Jim Bacharach, First Citizens Manager of Brand Marketing. “And we try to do that in a genuine and down-to-earth way. This campaign expresses all that through Errol Morris’ inimitable style.”

Errol Morris is widely considered one of the great documentary filmmakers working today. Morris’s film, “The Fog of War,” won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. His other feature documentaries include “The Thin Blue Line,” “A Brief History of Time” and “The Unknown Known.” He has a new Netflix series, “Wormwood,” in post-production.

Development of the Pride campaign was overseen by Factory, a Detroit-based advertising agency that has been working with First Citizens Bank since the launch of its Forever First marketing platform.

“We called this body of work ‘Pride’ for a reason,” said Mark Lantz, Factory’s executive creative director. “So many of the people we meet at First Citizens are so clearly proud of the work they do for customers. There’s real warmth and humanity at the heart of this brand. We knew a great filmmaker like Errol Morris could bring that out so people who don’t currently bank at First Citizens can see what makes this bank so special.”

The campaign launches with the first five television commercials and three digital videos. In upcoming months, additional commercials and digital videos will be introduced to the mix. The initial wave of spots, including the ad broadcast during the Academy Awards, will be available for viewing on the bank’s YouTube site the evening of Feb. 26.